Whew. Now that was a grinding run I thought to myself as I crossed the finish line of my twelfth 5K race of the year.
The journey that brought me to this point on a cold and blustery day was one that I did not even fathom way back on Valentine’s Day weekend when this all started. It was also a frigid day back on that afternoon when I finally succumbed to the reality that I looked and felt like crap. Oh, there was no mistake about how I looked. Perhaps I was in denial for months and had settled into the winter malaise that most adhere to, and use as an excuse to let themselves go. Yet, it was more than that. Much more. I have always been an active person with an upbeat and youthful outlook, and from what I have been told, appear younger than my chronological age. That all seemed to fall apart as the winter of 2015 dragged into 2016 and I was feeling the damage of what I had done to myself physically. On that cold windy day in February as I participated in the Cupid’s Undie Run for charity I hit rock bottom. I was out of breath and huffing it after jogging less than a mile. I felt like a slug, and after seeing pictures of my bloated form, looked like one. Even worse, after I had sent my parents some pics of me at the event they mentioned that I looked kind of portly.
Well, that was something out of the ordinary! When going away on vacation the majority of normal people out there do something relaxing and fun. You know, the normal stuff like laying on an island beach, going on a cruise, doing Vegas or Disney, maybe even jetsetting to Europe to see the world. Some even do the staycation thing or hang out visiting family. Nope, not me being the mildly disturbed individual that I am. For some idiotic reason I decided to train for months to start my vacation off with a Tough Mudder which is one of the more grueling events one can partake. They even make you sign a “Death Waiver” to be allowed to participate. Not only is it physically demanding but also mentally taxing especially when running it solo as I did. I targeted the July 12th Upstate NY event. For months leading up to this my nights and many mornings included jogging for miles, lifting weights, and basically living in a gym. Eating healthier. I can’t say that it was a total waste of time as it sure paid off! In fact, I had a blast at the Mudder and actually did pretty well. Other than some minor injuries, bruises, and scrapes I walked off that course feeling like a champ and exhilarated. It was an amazing feeling knowing that I succeeded doing something I set out as a personal goal, and overall not many people can claim to taking on the challenge of this event and conquering it. Definitely not a walk through the park.
I’m not a runner. Never have been, and never will be. I always see and hear about those who get up at the crack of dawn to get in their morning jog. I see them running through the city streets dodging traffic, running around those on the way to work, and trying to avoid crashing into baby carriages along the way. It can be a driving rain storm, a foot of snow in a blizzard, or even single digit frigid temperatures out and these hearty beings persevere so as to not miss one run. Personally, I think many of them are nuts! You won’t catch me out in that weather doing anything other than hitting a bar or picking up some Chinese food to take home to the couch. I’ll happily sit in a cafe with my cappuccino while relaxing in a comfy chair and watch you all huff and puff by.